World’s Biggest Hotel to Open in Mecca in 2017

World’s Biggest Hotel to Open in Mecca in 2017

May 25, 2015

The world’s biggest hotel is set to open in Mecca in 2017, offering an unprecedented level of luxury to travelers and royalty alike in Saudi Arabia.

The Abraj Kudai will cost about $3.6 billion, featuring 10,000 bedrooms, 70 restaurants and four helipads, the Guardian reported on Friday. At 45 stories tall, the desert fortress-style hotel boasts 12 towers atop a 10-story podium, which contains a bus station, food courts, a shopping mall and an extravagant ballroom. But five floors will be off limits to the most guests — they’re reserved exclusively for the Saudi royal family.

The Abraj Kudai was funded by the Saudi Ministry of Finance and designed by the Dar al-Handasah group.

SAUDI Arabia’s Abraj Kudai was announced to the world with the promise of being the largest hotel the world had ever seen.

SAUDI Arabia’s Abraj Kudai was announced to the world with the promise of being the largest hotel the world had ever seen.

Soaring high above the desert of Mecca at a whopping 45 storeys, and boasting a record-beating 10,000 rooms, the $4.5 billion monolith was poised to be the dazzling jewel in the holy city’s crown when it opened next year.

But problems have dogged the grand hotel’s construction, from a deadly crane collapse to accusations of crimes against heritage — and now there are serious questions about its future.

Design plans for the Abraj Kudai were revealed to an impressed world last year. Described by The Guardian as something that could have been designed by a Disneyland imagineer, the colossal hotel consists of 12 towers teetering on a 10-storey podium, spanning 1.4 million square metres in a “desert fortress” style.

The Saudi royal family has five levels dedicated entirely to them. Picture: Dar Al-Handasah

The Saudi royal family has five levels dedicated entirely to them. Picture: Dar Al-HandasahSource:Supplied

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The finished product is to include 70 restaurants, a shopping centre and food courts, a bus station, four helipads, a lavish ballroom, conference centre and an unimaginable 10,000 guest rooms.

Five floors will be strictly off-limits to guests, as they will be reserved for the whims of the Saudi royal family. All the buildings will offer four or five star accommodation.

It’s located in the Manafia district, about two kilometres from Mecca’s Grand Mosque, and designed to service the two million pilgrims who flock to the mosque for the annual Hajj.

Designed by the global conglomerate Dar Al-Handasah Group and financed by the Saudi finance minister, the Abraj Kudai will dwarf the current largest hotel in the world, Malaysia’s 7300-room First World Hotel.

With 10,000 rooms, it will be the largest hotel in the world. Picture: Dar Al-Handasah

With 10,000 rooms, it will be the largest hotel in the world. Picture: Dar Al-HandasahSource:Supplied

‘THESE ARE THE LAST DAYS OF MECCA’

When the design plans for Abraj Kudai were unveiled two years ago, complaints started to roll in.

Observers were concerned about the impact the city-like hotel would have on what many people feared was the ongoing erosion of the heritage of the sacred city of Mecca.

Mecca is already home to the third tallest building in the world, the 600m Abraj al-Bait clock tower, which looms over the Grand Mosque. In nearby Jeddah, the under-construction monolith Jeddah Tower is poised to become the next tallest building in the world.

“The city is turning into Mecca-hattan,” Irfan Al-Alawi, the director of the UK-based Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, told The Guardian.

“Everything has been swept away to make way for the incessant march of luxury hotels, which are destroying the sanctity of the place and pricing normal pilgrims out.

The tallest clock tower in the world with the world's largest clock face, atop the Abraj Al-Bait Towers, overshadows Muslim pilgrims as they gather in Mecca. Picture: AP/Amr Nabil

The tallest clock tower in the world with the world’s largest clock face, atop the Abraj Al-Bait Towers, overshadows Muslim pilgrims as they gather in Mecca. Picture: AP/Amr NabilSource:AAP

“These are the last days of Mecca. The pilgrimage is supposed to be a spartan, simple rite of passage, but it has turned into an experience closer to Las Vegas, which most pilgrims simply can’t afford.”

Ziauddin Sardar, author of Mecca: The Sacred City, warned colossal Saudi developments such as the Abraj Kudai was turning the holy city “into Disneyland”.

He said Saudis had bulldozed the last of the buildings that gave Mecca its architectural distinction, erecting in their wake “a grotesque metropolis” and “architectural bling”.

FUTURE IN DOUBT

This week, serious questions have been raised about whether the Abraj Kudai will even join Saudi Arabia’s ever-growing skyline.

Since last year serious problems have dogged the project’s primary construction partner, The Saudi Binladin Group — one of the kingdom’s largest construction companies, which boasts the King Abdullah Economic City megaproject near Mecca and Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur airport among its impressive projects.

But on September 11 last year, while construction work was underway on Mecca’s Grand Mosque, one of the company’s cranes collapsed in a storm, killing at least 107 people and injuring more than 400.

In light of the tragedy, the bin Laden family was banned from taking on new projects and made to halt work on current projects, including the Abraj Kudai hotel. Work on Jeddah Tower, another of the company’s projects, also stalled.

Commentators have suggested the Saudi Binladin Group fell out of favour with the Saudi government in the wake of the deadly crane collapse. Picture: Saudi Interior Ministry General Directorate of Civil Defence via AP

Commentators have suggested the Saudi Binladin Group fell out of favour with the Saudi government in the wake of the deadly crane collapse. Picture: Saudi Interior Ministry General Directorate of Civil Defence via APSource:AAP

The Saudi Binladin Group sacked thousands of workers to avert financial disaster and workers in Jeddah, Mecca and Riyadh, who claimed they hadn’t been paid for months, publicly protested, with one protest ending with a company bus being set alight.

Problems plaguing the company are now being exacerbated by deflated oil prices, which is having an undesired ripple effect across the Saudi economy.

And when the kingdom’s government is tightening its purse strings, major companies with close links to it, such as the Saudi Binladin Group, suffers too, Forbes reports.

With the Saudi economy appearing to be reconstructed and with the future of the Saudi Binladin Group is in doubt, economists now question when the Abraj Kudai project will even realise its potential as the world’s next largest hotel.

Tarik Dogru, assistant professor of hospitality finance and accounting at Boston University School, predicted it wouldn’t be completed until at least 2018.

He told Forbes: “The decision about when and how to complete the Abraj Kudai would depend on the government, and it will probably be an important indication of how a restructured Saudi Arabia economy will look like.”

Abraj Kudai is a hotel in Mecca

Abraj Kudai is a hotel in Mecca, Saudi Arabia currently under construction and expected to open in 2017. When completed, it will be the largest hotel in the world consisting of a ring of 12 towers 45 storeys high, with 10,000 bedrooms, 70 restaurants, and five rooftop helipads. There will also be five floors for the sole use of the Saudi royal family.[1] According to Arabian Business, 10 of the towers will provide four-star accommodations, while the other two towers will be reserved for special clientele offering five-star amenities.[2][3]

The estimated project cost is $3.5 billion, and will span approximately 1.4 million square meters.[4] The London-based firm Areen Hospitality has been contracted to design the hotel and the rooms interiors.[2]

Controversy

As the owner of the Abraj Kudai project, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance is also a prime customer of The Saudi Binladin Group (SBL)—one of the country’s largest construction companies. Naturally, the actions of the government directly affect SBL. So when the low oil prices began propelling the government “to cancel or suspend projects and delay payments,” SBL suffers too. Further exacerbating the situation, as reported by Gulf Business, was when one of SBL’s cranes fell into the Grand Mosque in Mecca, resulting in 107 deaths and the company banning “from receiving new state contracts altogether.” In response to its potential financial collapse, the conglomerate let go of thousands of employees and stopped work on several important projects that includes, of course—Abraj Kudai.

Dar-Al-Hanasah will be constructing this hotel. Dar-Al-Hanasah is one the biggest construction company which manages Engineering, Construction management, Architecture design, Mechanical and Electrical plumbing and many other construction related works.

Abraj Kudai Hotel in Mecca

Abraj Kudai Hotel in Mecca

Makkah Development in Saudi Arabia, Middle East – designed by Dar Al Handasah, Architects

5 Aug 2016

Abraj Kudai Hotel in Mecca

Design: Dar Al Handasah

Location: Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Abraj Kudai Hotel in Mecca

Abraj Kudai

Abraj Kudai is to become the world’s largest hotel located in Makkah, KSA and upon completion, will offer 10,000 rooms in 12 separate towers.

Abraj Kudai Hotel in Mecca

Designed by Dar Al Handasah, the project has a total built area of 1.4 million metre square and will be set in the Manafia area in Makkah’s central zone.

Abraj Kudai Hotel Mecca

The $3.5 billion hospitality project is already on site and comprises of 12 towers with a total of 10,000 rooms, 70 restaurants, rooftop helipads, royal floors and a full size convention centre, all roofed under what will become one of the largest domes in the world.

Abraj Kudai Hotel

The architecture is set to create an iconic landmark that will reflect a contemporary interpretation of a traditional desert fortress.

Abraj Kudai Mecca

London-based design practice Areen Hospitality has been appointed to design the interior spaces, which will be complete with palatial luxury typical of the region.

10 of the towers are intended to provide four-star accommodation while the remaining two will offer luxurious five-star amenities.

“We are honoured to be trusted with such a challenge. Designing hotel interiors on such a massive scale, with no operators yet in place, requires complex programming and design resourcing. At Areen Hospitality we allow for this and have the experience to respond to such a challenge, without ever losing the creative essence needed to welcome and surprise the guests expected at Abraj Kudai,” said Andrew Lindwood, head of design at Areen Hospitality.

Abraj Kudai Hotel in Mecca

Abraj Kudai is expected to be completed in 2017.

Abraj Kudai Hotel in Mecca information / images received 050816

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World’s largest hotel with 10,000 rooms, 70 restaurants to open in Mecca by 2017

If all goes according to plan, by 2107 Mecca will be home to the largest hotel in the world with 10,000 rooms!

According to reports, the Abraj Kudai hotel, which is the labour of love and a lot of finance – around $3.5 billion of funds are in play – should be ready for visitors in 2017. Touted to be the largest hotel in the world, the project is owned by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance and is being designed by the Dar Al-Handasah group. It will be located in the Manafia area of Mecca’s central zone, which is about 2km from the Holy Haram in Mecca.

Tourists will be offered an unprecedented level of luxury, with more than 70 restaurants (we’re assuming you can fit in all the restaurants across several towns in there, and you may still not reach 70!), across 48 storeys, 12 towers (which will vary between 30 and 48 storeys) and there are plans of four helipads on the roof as well.

Abraj Kudai full2_759

The hotel expects a lot of royal visits, so it’s being planned in such a manner that entire floors of the 1.4 million sq. m complex could be reserved for royal families. There will also be a convention centre built inside the hotel compound. The hotel’s podium will accommodate a bus station, shopping mall, restaurants, food courts, conference centre and car parks. A dome located on top of two mid towers will house a ballroom and the convention centre.

Not only will the Abraj Kudai boast of the most number of hotel rooms, but also house one of the world’s largest domes atop its tallest tower.

Due to its unparalleled size, height as well as location, exposure and architectural style, the building poses itself as a striking landmark with a profoundly modern multifunctional identity relating to both the Saudi locality and the Islamic universality of its expected users.

So far, the hotel is supposed to be functional by 2017, but according to a Forbes report, financial experts believe the construction could be delayed to 2018 as well. Nevertheless, the mammoth hotel has already left behind Malaysia’s First World Hotel (with 7,351 rooms) to become the largest hotel in the world by room count.

Do You Know About Abraj Kudai – the Largest Hotel in the World?

Sorry Dubai, Saudi Arabia’ Makkah is set to unveil its world’s largest hotel sometime in 2017. Abraj Kudai which is a mammoth of a hotel will carry the title of the “the largest hotel in the world” for a many reasons.

With over a whopping 10,000 rooms, 12 towers, and four massive helipads, the hotel will certainly be the talk of the world, let alone the town.

According to official reports by the Gulf state, the Abraj Kudai hotel is expected to cost an incredible 3.5 billion US Dollars.

Dubbed “the labor of love”, the hotel is set to receive visitors from all over the world in 2017; that’s if all goes well as planned.

It goes without saying that the hotel is a brainchild of the Ministry of Finance of Saudi Arabia.

Abraj Kudai will be grander and bigger than any other hotel around the globe.

In 2017, Mecca, Saudi Arabia will be home to the world’s largest hotel, spanning 1.4 million square meters. Isn’t that huge?

The next best is the First World Hotel of Malaysia in terms of rooms with close to 7,500 rooms as mentioned in our other post about  astonishing hospitality industry facts .

The Holy City in Saudi Arabia has plans to expand further in future with several other huge projects in queue.

Abraj Kudai Wold's largest Hotel Meccah Saudi Arabia

Image Courtesy- Dar Group

Where Is the Abraj Kudai Hotel Located?

Principally this world’s largest hotel is under construction in Makkah, a spot in Mecca’s central zone.

Manafia, where it’s precisely located, is just a mere 2 kilometers from the Holy Haram, a landmark in Mecca.

 

About Abraj Kudai Hotel in Saudi Arabia

The Abraj Kudai will have 10,000 rooms over 45 floors and 12 towers. It will cost £2.7 billion ($3.5 billion) to build, and is funded entirely by the Saudi Ministry of Finance.  It will lead the pool of world’s largest hotels around the world with a distance.

It will have 70 restaurants, a ballroom, an extravagant shopping mall and helipads.

Yes, you got that right, it will indeed have 70 restaurants.

International project design consultancy  Dar al-Handasah group  is in charge of design, which will be located two kilometers from the largest mosque in the world – Masjid al-Haram.

The mosque brings around to two to five million Muslims when traveling on Umrah or Hajj pilgrimages.  Areen Design, a British group, will handle the deluxe interiors.

Abraj Kudai World's largest Hotel

Illustration Image of Abraj Kudai by Dar Group

World-Class Amenities at Abraj Kudai

For starters, the hotel forecasts that there will be royalties making frequent visits to their premise.

So, designers have set the entire floor of about 1.4 million sqm to house rooms geared toward royal families.

Also, there’ll be a conventional conference centre therein to cater to the elite of society.

The podium of Abraj Kudai hotel will host a lot of things, few of which are mentioned below:

  • Shopping mall
  • A raft of restaurants and food courts
  • A bus station
  • Car Parking spaces
  • Lounges and sitting areas

..and several other world-class amenities. All this when we just talk about the podium of this to be world’s largest hotel.

With all these top-notch facilities – and possibly more to be added later on, the hotel will indeed offer lavish hospitality at its best.

World’s Largest Hotel Dome and The hotel Size

It will also feature the largest dome atop a hotel. The dome itself will sit on top of a duo of mid towers, and will house a convention center and a ballroom.

It will be one of a kind oozing off the ancient Arabian reminiscence.

On the whole, the dome is set to be photogenic, offering breathtaking views of the hotel guests.

As you might expect, the Gulf state is gunning for the biggest size there’s with its world’s largest hotel.

It’s projected to cover over 15 million sqft and rise a dizzying 45 stories before it opens in 2017.

Before the Saudi Arabia hotel is constructed, the world’s largest hotel in terms of size can be currently found in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand, with close to 6,200 rooms for guests to stay in.

 

Expected Delays for Abraj Kudai

The largest hotel in the world is facing a bit of headwind as the Gulf state’s economy is reeling back from falling oil and gas prices.

Hotel pundits expect that delays will not push the opening past 2018, though.

The hotel will be a historic landmark – a reflection of the modern understanding of an old-style desert castle.  10 of the 12 towers will offer four-star housings while the other two will provide five-star accommodations.

The hotel will be open for the public to stay in at a cost of potentially £4,000 per night or $5250 approximately. Five floors, however, are going to be reserved for the country’s royal family.